I could talk hunting and fishing for hours, so I’ll keep this short and sweet.
First, I owe my passion for the outdoors all to my dad. People are the product of the environment they grow up in, right? Well, I pretty much grew up in a boat. Then when I was old enough (like 10 years old), I was sitting in tree stands watching my dad whitetail hunt. I wanted to be just like him, and that’s exactly what I did!
I spend the majority of every summer in Day County South Dakota exploring sloughs for that 30” walleye I have yet to catch. I think I fished at least 5 days a week last summer. How have I not landed a 30” yet?! Every winter I look forward to sight-fishing bluegills in Iowa and catching jumbo perch in South Dakota.
The fall is jam-packed with memories and is clearly my favorite season of the year. My dad and I spend every weekend out West antelope and mule deer hunting in either South Dakota or Wyoming (or both). These hunting trips have given me some amazing experiences but also I’ve sat on a cactus every trip so far so there are some “bad” experiences ;) Let’s not forget about the Iowa whitetail rut in November. Hoooollyyy cow now that is an adrenaline rush! I live for that.
During the week when I’m supposed to be going to school, I go waterfowl hunting with college friends. After everyone is done bickering about how the spread should be set up, the fun begins! The best part is watching the birds work the spread and the dog’s enthusiasm to retrieve. I recently got a new puppy so I’ll be spending even more time in the field, if that’s at all possible.
My newest endeavor is black bear hunting! Late May I will be headed out West to create yet another hunting experience with, you guessed it, my dad! This is completely new for both of us, so this is about to get real interesting.
But let’s be honest, its not all about the harvest. The best part of all of this is spending time with family and friends and providing a way to escape from reality. It is important to pass on this passion to future generations so this sport will never be forgotten. I hope to pay it forward so future generations can make memories in the outdoors with their families, just as I have. Ultimately, my dad has taught me the most important lesson: pursue what makes you happy, and the great outdoors makes me happy.
- Carlee Fletcher